Faith Strengthened Through Cancer Journey

Jud and Raquel Hatcher are third generation missionaries serving the Lord in São Paulo, Brazil. They are part of the “SeedFactory” church planting initiative, which is a movement to plant churches in all 26 Brazilian capitals. Since 2006, 43 churches have been started in 5 states.

Wheaton, April 24, 2022

Dear friends,

It is with joy I write to all of you. I hope this letter finds you well.
Life in Chicago has been full of adventures. When God led us here last August 2021, we didn’t quite understand, nor did we know what was coming ahead. But our God is an omniscient God, He knows each one of our days, He knows our past and our future. Just a few weeks after we were settled in one of 24 missionaries’ apartments, Jud received the news of having lymphoma. I confess, it caught us by surprise. The days ahead were difficult, as Jud and I tried to swim in the waters of the unknown. We didn’t say much during those days, but we could almost read each other’s thoughts, one of them being: “It’s our turn to glorify God through pain and sorrow, and to continue to trust and love Him in the valley as on the mountain.” We didn’t question God. We chose to live one day at a time, without speculating into the future, or falling into the “what if” trap.

The most emotional time was when we shared it with our children. To see their tears and their eyes and their confused/sad faces broke our hearts, and we all cried together. But it wasn’t a cry of desperation, it was a cry of submission. During our journey, my faith was strengthened. Not because I had everything under control, quite the opposite, I had no idea what our future would be like, but I had someone, Jud, who modeled to our family what it means to be thankful in all situations. He showed us daily, what it means to trust God without asking “Why me?” or “Why now?” or “Why this way?”. He demonstrated to us what it means to have joy despite pain and uncertainties. In the middle of it all, Jud’s example helped me to have the same attitude. As Paul said in I Corinthians 11:1 “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” This verse has a personal meaning to me now.

We, Christians, are called to glorify God with our lives in everything we do, and, as we do, we elevate Jesus Christ high for everyone to see. When people see Jesus, they can’t help it but give Him glory also. That is why faith without works is dead. How will people see Jesus if we don’t show Him with our actions? James 2:16 –17 “If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

More than ever, I understand it now. Before, I thought Paul could ask people to follow him as he followed Christ, because he was the chosen of God, he was special. But, we all, if we are Christians (disciples of Christ), we ought to do and say the same thing. We need each other on this journey. God knew we couldn’t make it without one another. We need to see in each other’s lives, what it means to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Deuteronomy 6:5).

Jud is cancer free now; God chose to heal him. We don’t have enough words to describe how thankful we are to have received the gift of life on this earth, but we are even more thankful to have received eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. I want to say thank you for your prayers, your supportive messages, your cards of encouragement, your gifts, and your financial assistance. Everything you did for us; you did it for Jesus. We’re forever grateful for Baptist Faith Missions, and all our brothers and sisters who live this journey with us during sad and joyful times.

Raquel Hatcher

Contact Info:
Jud & Raquel Hatcher
São Paulo, Brazil
(872) 400-6522

For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280 | Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.

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